LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Phil Jackson has lost five games in a row
only once in his NBA coaching career. Kobe Bryant and the Los
Angeles Lakers didn't want to make it twice.
Bryant scored 26 points and Stanislav Medvedenko had a
career-high 26 points and grabbed 11 rebounds Friday night to lead
the Lakers to a 113-67 rout of the Atlanta Hawks.
"We have a huge winning streak of one; better than losing five
in a row," Bryant said with a grin.
Los Angeles ended its four-game losing streak by handing Atlanta
its second-worst defeat ever. The Hawks were beaten 132-85 at
Philadelphia on Dec. 8, 1982.
"I think they came out with a fury and played with the
intensity you need to win this tough battle you play in the NBA
night in and night out," Jackson said of the Lakers.
"That was a great effort by Slava, one of the best of his
career. We had a good game and the rest of the guys filled in."
Medvedenko, who scored 16 first-half points as the Lakers took
control early, said, "I feel like I can score. It felt really
Bryant said, "I was very, very happy with Slava tonight. It was
The Lakers were still without injured stars Shaquille O'Neal and
Karl Malone. Jackson said he hoped the two would be able to play
again by late next week.
The Lakers opened a 14-0 lead while the Hawks missed their first
eight shots and went the first 4:45 without scoring. They didn't
get a rebound until midway through the first period.
The Lakers were up 34-7 by the end of the quarter and 57-28 at
halftime. The seven points were the fewest in the first quarter for
the Hawks since they moved to Atlanta in 1968. The 28 points
matched an Atlanta first-half low.
"It's an embarrassing loss, flat out that's what it was,"
Atlanta coach Terry Stotts said. "I think we were all embarrassed
by the game.
"Give the Lakers credit. They had lost four in a row and they
came out very focused and aggressive."
The Chicago Bulls lost five straight under Jackson in 1994 --
while Michael Jordan was retired -- the longest such slump of the
Stephen Jackson scored 13 points for the Hawks, whose 10-27
record is among the league's worst.
O'Neal missed his fourth game with a strained right calf and is
expected to be sidelined for at least one more game. Malone has
been out since Dec. 21 with a knee sprain and is on the injured
list for the first time in his career.
Medvedenko was 13-of-21 from the field, and the 11 rebounds
matched his career high. He brought the sellout crowd of 18,997 to
its feet with a spectacular drive and reverse dunk in the opening
quarter of what turned out to be his best NBA game so far.
Bryant had 20 points by halftime, and Medvedenko had 16 points
and 10 rebounds. His previous career high in scoring was 18 points,
which he had done twice, the last against the Clippers only last
Los Angeles led 89-50 after three quarters, and Lakers reserves
played the entire fourth period.
Atlanta's lowest-scoring quarter ever was six points in the
second quarter of a game against Minnesota in 1994. They had scored
as few as 28 first-half points twice before, in 2002 and in 1995.
They had scored only 26 second-half points twice, in 1996 and
While Jackson was the Chicago coach, the Bulls lost four in
a row twice, in 1990 and 1995. ... The Hawks, who arrived in Los
Angeles on Tuesday night, will spend an extra day in town. They had
planned to fly to Salt Lake City after the game against the Lakers,
but decided not to leave until Saturday morning because of bad
weather in Utah. They play the Jazz on Saturday night.